Provenance for aggregate queries

Yael Amsterdamer, Daniel Deutch, Val Tannen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

123 Scopus citations


We study in this paper provenance information for queries with aggregation. Provenance information was studied in the context of various query languages that do not allow for aggregation, and recent work has suggested to capture provenance by annotating the different database tuples with elements of a commutative semiring and propagating the annotations through query evaluation. We show that aggregate queries pose novel challenges rendering this approach inapplicable. Consequently, we propose a new approach, where we annotate with provenance information not just tuples but also the individual values within tuples, using provenance to describe the values computation. We realize this approach in a concrete construction, first for "simple" queries where the aggregation operator is the last one applied, and then for arbitrary (positive) relational algebra queries with aggregation; the latter queries are shown to be more challenging in this context. Finally, we use aggregation to encode queries with difference, and study the semantics obtained for such queries on provenance annotated databases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPODS'11 - Proceedings of the 30th Symposium on Principles of Database Systems
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2011
Event30th Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, PODS'11 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 13 May 201115 May 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symposium on Principles of Database Systems


Conference30th Symposium on Principles of Database Systems, PODS'11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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